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 Jeannette Capriano  (1930 - )

About: Jeannette Capriano


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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: figure and genre easel and mural painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
From New York City, Jeannette Capriano was featured in The New York Times on October 16, 2004 because of her painting, Reverence for Life that she donated in 1976 to Rescue Company One of Manhattan's City Fire Department. The painting, seven feet high and over five-feet in width, is a scene of firemen fighting a fire and rescuing people.

Capriano was inspired to do the work because she, then living in the Bronx, was angered by a decision of city personnel to reduce the number of firefighters, whom she greatly respected and decided to honor. Before she began the project, she spent time at the company's firehouse interviewing firefighters and researching their environment.

The painting was hung in the kitchen where firefighters spent much of their time. However, much dirt accumulated on the painting. In 2001, shortly after the attack on the World Trade Center, Mike Schunk, joined Company One and spearheaded restoration of the painting, which was done by New York University's Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts. The work was completed in time for the third anniversary of the 9/11 devastation. It is hung on a wall over a table that has the name of eleven members of Rescue Company One who lost their lives September 11, 2001.

Dan Barry, 'The Rescue of a Firehouse Treasure, Appropriately Covered in Soot', The New York Times, 10/16/2004.

Biography from The National Art Museum of Sport, Inc.:
Jeannette Capriano considers herself a people painter, and the people, whether cross country skiers, or boxers and their trainers are the focus of her large canvases. Even larger are the paintings and murals she has done of and for the Fire Department of New York.

Although sports have always been part of her life - horseback riding, swimming, hiking, white-water rafting, it was lack of skill that prompted No Cloud Above, No Earth Below (above). She wrote: "A friend was teaching me to cross country ski. When I fell going uphill, I decided it would be safer for me to paint the sport."

Boxing, the subject of Dressing Room, St. Nicholas Arena, is part of her family heritage. Her father-in-law, Michael Capriano, managed fighters, including Jake LaMotta, The Raging Bull, and her husband led the Marine Corps team to the Inter-Service Championship. A silver-point of the elder Michael Capriano was recently given the Museum by the artist. She considers the movement and grace of boxers to be a thing of beauty - and satisfying to capture in paint.

Capriano studied on scholarship at the Art Students League in New York and later was an adjunct instructor and jurist there.

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